At January’s second annual TEDx event, an impressive number of speakers – four of the 17 to be exact – were from GRU.
“For Georgia Regents University to be able to share some of its innovative thinkers with a TEDx Augusta that is potentially available to a global population gives us the opportunity to make more connections and have more visibility for what we do, but it also allows us to share our thought process with others, have them critiqued, and to learn from that interaction ourselves,” said Dr. James Rawson, Chair of the Radiology and Imaging Department, who spoke about virtual communities and social media.
Rawson was joined on the stage by Dr. Chris McKinney, Associate Vice President for Innovation Commercialization, Dr. Samir Khleif, Director of the GRU Cancer Center, and Steven Uhles, Director of Media and Marketing for the GRU Cancer Center.
The beauty of TEDx, of course, is that if you miss the talks in person, you can always watch them on YouTube. So if you didn’t make it to the Imperial Theatre and haven’t yet sought them out online, here they are for your enjoyment.
AUGUSTA, Ga.- More than 1,000 students are expected to participate in Georgia Regents University’s commencement exercises on May 8, at 2 p.m. at the James Brown Arena.
This year’s speaker will be Jane Chen, a TED Senior Fellow and CEO of Embrace, a social enterprise that developed an innovative baby incubator solution designed to address the global infant mortality in developing countries.
With a career that includes a blend of business and social sector experience, Chen has worked with several non-profit organizations to shed light on the healthcare issues in developing worlds.
She spent several years as the program director of a startup HIV/AIDS nonprofit in China and assisted with the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Access Initiative to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in Tanzania.
Chen is also the former management consultant for Monitor Group where she advised Fortune 500 companies with strategy development, marketing, and acquisitions.
Recently, she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and she was profiled by the Dove Real Role Model campaign for her Embrace work.
Chen holds a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. She also received her bachelor’s degree from Pomona College.
When Augusta’s second TEDx event is held at the Imperial Theatre on Friday, Jan. 30, four of the 17 speakers will be from Georgia Regents University.
For those who might not have seen one of the popular videos frequently shared on social media, TED Talks are relatively short and highly accessible speeches given by experts on everything from oceanography to the theremin. Known for their casual delivery and their insightfulness, they’ve become the gold standard for today’s lifelong learners, distributed free across the Internet in easily consumable bites.
Dr. Chris McKinney, Associate Vice President for Innovation Commercialization, said author Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” is his personal favorite.
“He brings discipline to how I do things,” McKinney said. “I’ve literally changed how I do some of my business based on that single TED Talk.”
Considering McKinney heads up the Office of Innovation Commercialization, that’s pretty high praise. Not only is innovation the currency with which he does business, it figures into his talk, which uses health care examples to talk about how everyone can help innovate and create the future.
While McKinney, like most TED speakers, is confortable in front of an audience, he said the relaxed, off-the-cuff presentation is not left to chance. Rather, the rehearsal process is actually fairly rigorous.
“I’ve been to TED, and it does look really well done,” he says. “It’s very disciplined, and for a guy who’s not used to writing speeches out, this is very different.”
That sentiment is seconded by Dr. Samir Khleif, Director of the Cancer Research Center, who is speaking about a sustainable cancer health model for underserved communities. He was surprised by the preparations required by the organizers.
“I don’t rehearse my talks,” he said. “I’ve never rehearsed a talk in my life because I don’t like to give my talk more than once. I just do it when I’m doing it, because if you rehearse a talk, it becomes mechanical.”
While the majority of his talks are for the scientific community or those in health care, he says he’s looking forward to speaking to a wider, potentially limitless audience.
“Clearly, any time you give a talk, it’s either for an education perspective or to intrigue an audience about certain thoughts, to make them think about something,” he said. “Whether you give it to 100 people or 1,000 people, it’s always better to give it to 2,000 people or 3,000 people. It’s the same when you publish something. You want to put it out there. The more people who read it, the better.”
Steven Uhles, Director of Media and Marketing for the GRU Cancer Center, is the only nonacademic of the GRU contingent, but he is no stranger to speaking in front of crowds or giving his opinion. After 15 years with the Augusta Chronicle (he currently writes the “Pop Rocks” entertainment column for the daily paper) he is one of the most recognized contributors in Augusta.
“I’m a guy who likes to think about things, so to sort of spend an extended period of time rolling this thing over in my head has been an interesting experience,” he said. “It’s like writing a piece for a newspaper – you write that piece and you are sort of intensely in there for the day or two it takes to get it done, but then it sort of moves on. So, for me this has been a lot like writing an extended column and then being asked to do a reading of it. I’ve written thousands of columns, but I’ve never written them this long, and I’ve certainly never gotten up and said, ‘My Ode to Steely Dan.’”
Writing about how creativity is valued, Uhles is mining the artistic world he has covered for so long.
“Creativity is an abstract, and we’re always asking what something is worth,” he said. “My talk is about how can you value something that really exists on a theoretical level. What is a painting worth? It’s not worth the price of the paint, it’s not worth the price of the canvass. You’re paying for creativity, so how do we value that?”
For Dr. James Rawson, Chair of the Radiology and Imaging Department, the TED Talk process was familiar, since he was involved in the organization of last year’s TEDx TelfairSteet.
“This year, when it was moved to TEDx Augusta and the topic was going to be Connections, I thought that was a perfect opportunity to talk about social media, which we’ve been very involved in in our department.”
His talk, “Virtual Communities and Social Media: How Will You Use These Tools to Change the World?,” seems tailor made for a TEDx event, since that’s exactly what TED Talks have done on a large scale since 1984.
“One of the things that’s exciting about our audience is that it’s not a narrowed-focused audience,” he said. “It’s a very diverse group with a lot of different types of thinkers, and the opportunity to interact with them is very exciting.”
In fact, his only disappointment, he said, was the fact that he’s so far only been really able to connect with the speakers rehearsing in the time slots on either side of him.
One thing he finds especially interesting and symbolic, however, is the rehearsal space.
“We’ve been rehearsing to a large extent in something called theClubhou.se, which is actually the old Richmond Academy building,” he said. “I drive past the original Medical College of Georgia, turn into the driveway of the old Richmond Academy, walk into a building with a great legacy in education that’s being renovated for computer labs and BattleBots. To me, that’s part of the value of being able to do this in Augusta, leveraging all of the pieces of the community – the people and the organizations and the heritage that’s here – and putting it into this one TEDx event.”
According to Rawson, the exposure the GRU speakers will receive will benefit the enterprise’s reputation.
“For Georgia Regents to be able to share some of its innovative thinkers with a TEDx Augusta that is potentially available to a global population gives us the opportunity to make more connections and have more visibility for what we do, but it also allows us to share our thought processes with others, have them critiqued, and to learn from that interaction ourselves.”
Know someone who would love to attend? Email that person’s name and email address to AALIGOOD@gru.edu to give them the chance to win a free TEDx Augusta ticket.
Four GRU faculty and staff are slated to present at the 2015 TEDx Augusta conference, planned for Jan. 30 at the Imperial Theatre.
Chris McKinney, Associate Vice President for Innovation Commercialization, will present “Creating the Future: Why Wait?”
Steven Uhles, Media and Marketing Coordinator for the GRU Cancer Center, will talk about “Creative Capital – The Inherent Worth of the Abstract.”
James Rawson, Warren Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology in the Medical College of Georgia and Medical Director and Chief of Radiology at Georgia Regents Medical Center, will discuss “Virtual Communities and Social Media: How Will You Use These Tools to Change the World?”
Samir Khleif, Director of the GRU Cancer Center, will present “Cancer Health for Underserved Communities, A Sustainable Model.”
TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.
Tickets are available on TEDxAugusta.com. General admission is $75 up until the day of the conference; students, senior citizen, and military ticket prices ae $65. Visit TEDxAugusta.com for more details.
TEDx Telfair Street, Augusta’s first independently organized TEDx event, will be held Friday, Jan. 31, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library, 823 Telfair St.
The event, sponsored by Georgia Regents University, will present numerous speakers discussing TED (technology, entertainment, and design) related issues.
Scheduled speakers are librarian and podcaster Charlie Bennett, electronic artist Luke Davis, author and journalist Melissa Fay Green, librarian Brandy Horne, GRU’s Dr. Stephen Hsu, actor/director Michael Lay, painter Philip Morsberger, Episcopal Day School Headmaster Ned Murray, rock/jazz improv group Montana Skies, innovator Nicholas Skytland, teacher and author Perry Smith, photographer and graphic designer David Walker, Wier/Stewart founder Alex Wier, artist and designer Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman, GRU’s Dr. Sumir Patel, and TEDx host and radio program director John Patrick.
TED is the nonprofit organization devoted to spreading cutting-edge and original ideas via conferences. TEDx events are local and self-organized. They combine video and live speakers to spark discussion and connection.
University officials signed a two-year agreement with TEDx Telfair Street to become the presenting sponsor of Augusta’s first independently organized TEDx event, which is scheduled for Jan. 31.
“Georgia Regents University is committed to inspiring innovation locally, regionally, and nationally,” said David Brond, Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing at GRU. “We are excited to partner with the TEDx organization to present a forum that will engage our community in an active dialogue about innovative ideas and initiatives.”
TED is the nonprofit organization devoted to spreading cutting-edge and original ideas via conferences. TEDx events are local, self-organized, and combine video and live speakers to spark discussion and connection.
“We’re excited to have GRU as our first presenting sponsor,” said TEDx Telfair Street Organizer Grace A. Belangia. “The university is an excellent resource for nationally recognized experts and thought leaders. Its mission ‘to provide leadership and excellence in teaching, discovery, clinical care, and service’ makes it a great partner for our organization.”
The call for 2014 conference speakers and creative performers is open through Sept. 1. If interested in speaking or performance opportunities, visit tedxtelfairstreet.com/speakers/.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives.
At a TED conference, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. TED speakers have included Roger Ebert, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Brian Greene, Isabel Allende, and former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Three major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Vancouver simultaneous with TEDActive in Whistler, British Columbia; and the TEDGlobal Conference takes place each summer in Edinburgh.
On TED.com, talks from TED conferences are shared with the world for free as TED Talks videos. A new TED Talk is posted every weekday. Through the Open Translation Project, TED Talks are subtitled by volunteers worldwide into more than 90 languages. Through distribution networks, TED Talks are shared on TV, radio, Netflix, and many websites.
The TEDx initiative grants free licenses to people around the world to organize TED-style events in their communities with TED Talks and live speakers. More than 5,000 TEDx events have been held, and selected talks from these events are also turned into TED Talks videos.
The annual TED Prize grants $1 million to an exceptional individual with a wish to change the world. The TED Fellows program helps world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. TED-Ed creates short video lessons by pairing master teachers with animators, for use in classroom instruction or independent learning.